Embassy to the Department of
His Majesty’s Embassy is instructed to bring the following proposals to the attention of the State Department with reference to the messages recently exchanged between the President and the Prime Minister1 regarding the steps to be taken in Germany to relieve the threatening coal famine in Europe.
- Firstly, His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom consider that procedure should immediately be concerted for consultation with the Soviet Government on this question, as well as with the French Government, who, it is understood have already been approached by the United States Government. It is believed to be common ground between His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government that in economic, as in other spheres, Germany should be administered as a whole in accordance with policies agreed between the four Controlling Powers. This is necessary both for the purpose of taking full advantage of German assets and of meeting German minimum needs in order to ensure the fullest development of those assets to that end. His Majesty’s Government are anxious to ensure that the Soviet Government should not misinterpret their actions and those of the United States Government with regard to the export of coal from their zones of occupation in Germany as abandoning this principle. There is a clear danger of such misinterpretation since the Soviet Government are known to attach much importance to early deliveries of coal on reparation account.
- His Majesty’s Government suggest therefore that General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery respectively should be instructed to discuss the directives now to be issued to them in the Allied Control Council at the earliest possible date with a view to securing a policy common to the four Controlling Powers. General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery should at the same time be instructed to put its provisions into force straightaway pending agreement in the Allied Control Council.
- His Majesty’s Government suggest that simultaneously they and the United States Government should make a joint approach to [Page 625] the Soviet Government (and also to the French Government following up the approach already made to them by the President), informing them of the nature of the instructions sent to the United States and United Kingdom Commanders-in-Chief and asking them to authorise their representatives on the Control Council to join in discussion at the earliest possible date with a view to securing a common policy. It would be explained to the Soviet and French Governments that, in view of the crying needs of Western Europe, the two Commanders-in-Chief had been authorised to put these instructions into force pending agreement in the Control Council and that a most careful account of any coal exported would be kept in order that the achievement of a common reparation policy should not be prejudiced. It might be added that, if these two Governments considered that they should take comparable action in their zones pending discussion in the Allied Control Council, His Majesty’s Government and the United States Government hoped that they would likewise keep a similar account of all coal exports from areas for which their military authorities were responsible. Recipients would naturally be required to provide suitable acknowledgments that they were accountable under such schemes as might be agreed to.
- Secondly, His Majesty’s Government consider that the United States and United Kingdom Commanders-in-Chief should be given some discretion to supply from German mines the minimum amount of coal which they consider necessary to prevent the development of unrest and disorder to an extent which would not only render impossible the proper administration of their zones but would also hinder the redeployment of United Kingdom and United States Forces and the production of coal itself. With this end in view, His Majesty’s Government suggest the amendments to the texts of the directives shown in the enclosure.
- If the United States Government agree, His Majesty’s Government suggest that arrangements should be made forthwith for directives in these terms to be despatched to General Eisenhower and Field Marshal Montgomery, respectively, to be tabled at the Allied Control Council at the earliest possible date and to be put into operation meanwhile. His Majesty’s Ambassadors and the United States Ambassadors in Moscow and Paris would be instructed simultaneously to make representations to the Soviet and French Governments on the lines set out above.